Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Why I Don’t Yet Skype

Skype is a technology well known among the recently well-traveled, but which does not seem to be making much headway among stay-at-home Americans. In brief, if one has Skype—which is free to download—one can make free calls to other Skype users, merely by getting on the internet and plugging in a headset. In other words, you can call anywhere in the world for the price of a local call.
The difficulty seems to lie in getting people on the other end to get with the program. True, we can pay the Skype people a little to call ordinary telephones, but why would we want to do that when Skype-to-Skype is free?
Several people have assured me that Skype works splendidly and that they use it all the time to call husbands in Italy or friends in the US, but I have yet to experience this (though in part because I only recently received the password for my new cheap internet service). Weeks ago, when Jesse got internet access, we decided to test our Skype skills, as presumably this would be easier between Prague and Brno (same time zone) than transatlantically. We plugged in our headsets. We went online. The connection was made. … and then it broke off. And was made… and broken off. After about twenty minutes of this, we decided that there were some technical difficulties on the Brno end. As far as we can tell, these relate to the type of internet connection there, which is a little unstable.
It seems clear that I can use Skype from my apartment, but since everyone I know who has it is nearby, I have not yet experienced a Skype call that lasted more than two minutes, and if that’s all that a call is going to last, there is not much reason to use Skype. Skype is for leisurely conversation, not “Hi, I’ll be over in half an hour.”
So if you register on Skype, let me know or I probably won’t call.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Jesse said...

Well it did seem to work fine yesterday.

November 16, 2005 11:55 PM  
Blogger Karla said...

That's because you were away from home. I wanted to post this before it got too old, and does calling from Mrs. Zlatušková's computer count in this context?
Don't mind me, I ate too much chocolate after reading all that Autosexualismus a Psycherotismus stuff so I am even less coherent than usual. I think I will need the holiday to recover from all the terminology.

November 17, 2005 12:27 AM  

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